National Kathryn Day is celebrated every year on July 8. Kathryn, along with Katherin, Cathrin, Catrin, Kathrin, and Katrin are variations of Catherine. All these names stem from the Greek word ‘katharos,’ meaning ‘pure.’ Historically, these names have been remarkably popular among royals, including the notorious Catherine the Great and no less than three of Henry the VII’s six wives! Also being the name of multiple saints — including Catherine of Alexandria and Catherine of Siena — Kathryn and its variations are rather popular names among Christians. Some contemporary Kathryns of note include Academy Award-winning film director Kathryn Bigelow and bestselling novelist Kathryn Stockett.
History of National Kathryn Day
Kathryn is derived from the name Catherine. Notable Catherines include Catherine of Alexandria, a Christian saint who reached martyrdom after being tortured and ultimately executed by Roman emperor Maximian. The facts surrounding her death are hard to tell apart from the countless legends that sprouted years after. It’s said that the devices used to attempt to execute her broke apart at her touch and that when she eventually was successfully executed, she bled milk rather than blood. The folklore surrounding this figure did wonders to bolster the popularity of the name during medieval times.
Katherine — with a middle ‘e’ — was first recorded in England in 1196, being a cultural import that English soldiers brought back home from their military excursions during the crusades. Katharine — with a middle ‘a’ — is currently more popular in the U.S. than in the U.K. Since 1880, variations of Catherine have been among the 100 most popular names. Kathryn specifically came into use around the nineteenth century, though the facts surrounding its genesis are muddy. Its popularity waned during the twenty-first century, though not after many years of great prevalence — averaging around the eightieth place in the ranking of girl names during the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Nowadays the world seems to prefer more conventional spellings of the name, such as Katherine and Catherine — often abbreviated to Kate or Katie. Kathryn could be seen as a more modern take on such a historical name. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of personal preference.
National Kathryn Day timeline
St. Catherine of Alexandria becomes a martyr after being executed by Roman emperor Maximian.
Kathryn O'Loughlin McCarthy is the first woman from Kansas elected to the U.S. Congress.
Kathryn Crosby is an American actress and singer who performed her most memorable roles under her birth name Kathryn Grant.
Kathryn Bigelow is an American film director who was the first woman to win the Academy Award, BAFTA, and D.G.A. award for Best Director.
Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan is the first American woman to walk in space, with 532 hours in space.
National Kathryn Day FAQs
How old is the name Kathryn?
It was first recorded during the nineteenth century.
What is the male version of the name Kathryn?
Catalin is the male version of Kathryn in Romania.
Is Kate short for Kathryn?
Kate is the short form for many names, most notably Katherine but also Caitlin and others.
National Kathryn Day Activities
Host a party for Kathryn
Host a party to honor a special Kathryn in your life. They’re sure to appreciate it.
Watch a movie starring or directed by Kathryn
Maybe watch a movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Get your popcorn ready and enjoy the show.
Create a playlist
Spend the day listening to music sung by Kathryns.
5 Facts About Kathryn Sullivan
First woman in space
She was the first woman to walk in space.
She studied the depths of the ocean
She was a part of a team that participated in several oceanographic expeditions that studied the Atlantic and Pacific seafloors.
Her first flight was on the 'Challenger'
Her first spaceflight was aboard the space shuttle ‘Challenger’ on the STS-41G mission.
She is an author
She wrote a book called 'Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention.'
She was chief scientist
Kathyrn Sullivan became chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1993.
Why We Love National Kathryn Day
It celebrates Kathryns around the world
It's not every day that you get the celebrate your name. Today, you get to do exactly that.
It’s an all-inclusive day
No matter how you spell your name, you are included in the celebrations. The only criteria is you join in the celebrations.
You just have to be yourself
It’s almost like having a second birthday. A day where you celebrate being yourself.
National Kathryn Day dates